Urine as a Survival resource
Urine can be very useful in survival situations. Two main uses can be as
an emergency eyewash and a source of fertilizer for your plants.
Urine as it comes from the urethra is a sterile, (unless there exists a
bladder, kidney or urinary tract infection), saline solution of about 6 pH
(range 4.8-8.5). This makes a perfectly satisfactory eyewash in situations
where water is unavailable or of questionable quality. Since urine contains
nutrients that can support the growth of harmful organisms, the eye should be
rinsed with a boric acid or other eyewash solution as soon as possible.
Urine output is about 600-1,600 ml./24 hours with around 55-70 gms./24 hrs
of total solids. Typical electrolytes are (per 24 hours)
Sodium 130-260 mEq
Chloride 110-250 mEq
Potassium 25-100 mEq
Calcium 100-250 mg.
Magnesium 15-300 mg.
Phosphorus,inorganic .9-1.3 Gm.
Components that contain Nitrogen are (per 24 hours)
Ammonia 20- 70 mEq
Creatine 0-100 mg.
Creatnine .8-1.9 Gm.
Protein 10-150 mg.
Urea nitrogen 6 - 17 Gm.
Uric acid .25-.75 Gm.
That doesn't sound like much, but take 1 quart of urine and add 3 or 4
quarts of water and pour that on a lawn, just one application, that hasn't been
fertilized and you will be amazed. Do not use urine undiluted since the
heavy dose of nitrogen will "burn" the plants.
Since urine has so much nitrogen it could be added to a compost pile that
is long on carbon but short on nitrogen.
In absolutely desparate conditions urine can used for a beverage if you
are low on water and in danger of dehydration. This shouldn't be taken to
extremes, but there are religious sects in India that advocate drinking ones
own urine once a day for mytiscal reasons and they do not seem to suffer from
any ill effects. I doubt that you will benefit from the mystical advantages
claimed for this, but it may keep you alive. Needless to say, you can not rely
solely on urine for fluids for an extended period of time since urine contains
waste products. Urine can however be used to prevent dehydration in the same
manner as seawater or other saline or contaminated waters. You can use the
undrinkable water to cool your skin thereby reducing water loss from
perspiration. Where dehydration is emminant, use the salty water to cool your
skin and clothes. The phrase, "Ration your sweat, not your water.", is the
idea here. Every cup of water that you can prevent losing is just as good as
an additional cup of water that you drink as far keeping yourself properly